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Nature: Convergent evolution seen in hundreds of genes


In Nature, Erika Check Hayden tells us that “many genes evolved in parallel in bats and dolphins as each developed the remarkable ability to echolocate”:

Different organisms often independently evolve similar observable traits such as anatomical or functional features, but the genetic changes underpinning such ‘convergent evolution’ are usually different. The new study, published today in Nature1, hints that evolution may be finding the same genetic solutions to a problem more often than previously thought .

So why wasn’t convergent evolution previously thought?

The dead hand of Darwin is why it wasn’t previously thought. There wasn’t supposed to be any design in nature, right? But there is. So it must now be portrayed as some big accident.

The team found a ‘convergence signature’ in nearly 200 regions of the genome. Genes involved in hearing were more likely to have evolved similarly across species than those involved in other biological traits. Some genes involved in vision were also among those bearing the strongest signal of convergence — a surprising result. More.

Why was convergent evolution a “surprising result”? The dead hand rules. And no one in power considers the cost of government. Or needs to.

Hat tip: Matthew Cochrane

They accepted widespread phenotypic convergence as powerful evidence for evolution. I can't imagine widespread genetic convergence will be any different. It will all be taken in stride and eventually used as confirming evidence for the theory. lifepsy
Convergent evolution must be king because so much of nature is so alike despite it must be from segregated origins if evolution is true. If god created nature from the same concept as he created physics then nature will have common laws and results unrelated to relationships of creatures. We have the same liver because why fix whats not broke?! Convergent evolutionism is a dying gasp for a dying idea. Robert Byers
I can't wait for Richard Dawkins to explain to us that this is "exactly what a Darwinist would expect." sagebrush gardener
This is a lesson on one of two things. 1. Maybe it is a lesson on how to spin the evidence to score a win when the evidence does not support your conclusion. Or perhaps 2. it is a lesson on how the paradigm influences what we are willing to believe/increases our faith even when the evidence doesn't support it. tjguy
Yet, we are bombarded every day by "rational" scientists who tell us that we are fools for even doubting any of Darwin's ideas. Amazing, simply amazing. OldArmy94
The claim that the existence of identical code segments in hundreds of genes in distant branches of the genetic tree was caused by natural selection is a lie, of course, since the evidence shows no such thing. There is absolutely no way natural selection can create identical genetic codes in species that are in distant branches of the genetic tree. This is absurd. Everybody knows that there a million ways to design any given complex functionality. Why do these evolutionists insist on insulting the people’s intelligence? We are not as stupid as you think we are, darn it. You are the stupid ones, not us. These genetic similarities between echolocating bats and whales are 100% proof that these animals were designed by highly advanced genetic designers who did what sensible intelligent designers do all the time: they copied the tried and tested genetic code created for one species into the design of another. Why reinvent the wheel (which is what would be expected in convergent evolution via natural selection) when you have good code lying around? Mapou
"We know natural selection is a potent driver of gene sequence evolution, but identifying so many examples where it produces nearly identical results in the genetic sequences of totally unrelated animals is astonishing."
Dr. Joe Parker, lead researcher of the project http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130904132548.htm lifepsy

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